The Supreme Court's refusal to disturb the 8th Circuit's decision in C.B.C. v. MLBAM is yet another victory for First Amendment freedoms, fantasy sports businesses and the millions of fantasy sports players nationwide.
Washington, D.C. (PRWEB) June 3, 2008
The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected an appeal from Major League Baseball Advanced Media and the MLB Players' Association to overturn lower court rulings in the C.B.C. v. MLBAM case, thus putting an end to litigation that began over three years ago. The Court's denial means that earlier rulings allowing CDM Fantasy Sports to use players' names and statistics without a licensing fee remain intact.
Fantasy Sports Trade Association President and SportsBuff.com CEO Jeff Thomas said the decision "marks potentially the single biggest day in the history of the fantasy sports industry."
"This young industry was started and has grown through the sweat equity of small business entrepreneurs across U.S. and Canada," added Thomas. "The industry would not exist today without the efforts of many private citizens that invested significantly and risked everything. CDM was one of those companies and it's only right that they carried the flag. The FSTA, its members, and all others in the fantasy sports business owe a debt of gratitude to Charlie Wiegert, the management team at CDM, and its lead counsel Rudy Telscher."
"This definitely feels great," Telscher told The Sports Business Daily. "Baseball had a fairly arrogant tone through this thing and was an aggressive opponent. But this is good for the fantasy industry. You've got a bunch of smaller guys who built this industry into what it's become, and for baseball to come in like they did 25 years after the fact and try to push everybody out, that just wasn't right."
The FSTA and its members helped contribute to the effort by funding Amicus Briefs for rounds one and two, as well as, the Brief in Opposition for the Supreme Court appeal. The Brief in Opposition is available to FSTA members at the fsta.org website.
Glenn Colton, a partner in the New York office of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, authored the Amicus Briefs on behalf of the FSTA. According to Colton, "The Supreme Court's refusal to disturb the 8th Circuit's decision in C.B.C. v. MLBAM is yet another victory for First Amendment freedoms, fantasy sports businesses and the millions of fantasy sports players nationwide."
Looking toward the future, Colton said he hopes "this closes the chapter on litigation and will usher in a new era of cooperation between the sports leagues, their players' associations and the fantasy industry."
"It has always been the FSTA's goal to find ways to work hand in hand with the leagues and the players associations," said Thomas. "Anyone and everyone that analyzes the concept of fantasy sports comes to the obvious conclusion that fantasy sports are an extremely valuable marketing vehicle for any sport and its players. We should all be working together to develop more and more quality promotions for baseball, football, basketball, racing, soccer, hockey, golf, tennis, lacrosse, fishing, boxing, rugby, badminton, and any other sport or hobby that would like to see its customers spend more time studying and interacting with their sport."
The ruling and its ramifications for the fantasy sports industry will be a hot topic at the FSTA Business Conference and Research Symposium in Chicago on July 8 and 9.
The Fantasy Sports Trade Association (FSTA), http://www.fsta.org, was founded in the late 1990's to provide a forum for interaction between hundreds of existing and emerging companies in a unique and growing fantasy sports industry. We serve the small, the large, the entrepreneurs, and the corporations. We serve the pioneers that invested in and grew the industry in the 1980's and 1990's. And we serve the visionaries, innovators, investors, advertisers, and sponsors that would like to network and learn more about the exciting fantasy sports industry.
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